With December totals still to be recorded, beef exports already set a new full-year value record of $6.49 billion (up 16 percent year-over-year).

November results were mixed for beef exports, with volume down 5 percent from a year ago to 96,348 mt, while value was 19 percent higher at $626.7 million.

USMEF President and CEO Philip Seng said that while the first 11 months of 2014 reflect a very solid performance for U.S. beef and pork, exports face heightening economic challenges in leading markets in the coming year.

“Demand for U.S. beef and pork remains strong, as international buyers appreciate the unmatched quality and consistency of our products,” he said.

“But lower slaughter numbers reduced 2014 supplies, which obviously had an impact on prices, and in recent months, buying power in many key markets has been affected by slowing economic growth and weaker currencies. Market access restrictions in several important markets, including China and Russia, also had a big impact on opportunities for U.S. exports last year. The outlook for 2015 is for more of the same, but our industry has proven its ability to identify and develop export outlets in difficult times. When I look across the world as a whole, I still see good potential for further expansion of red meat exports in 2015.”


Key Asian markets drive beef export value to record heights

November beef exports equated to 15 percent of total production and 12 percent of muscle cut production, compared to 14 percent and 11 percent, respectively, a year ago. For January through November, exports equated to 14 percent of total production and 11 percent for muscle cuts (up from 13 percent and 10 percent). Export value per head of fed slaughter was $359.77 in November (up 35 percent from a year ago) and $293.96 for January through November (up 16 percent).

November exports to leading market Japan were the smallest since March at 18,449 mt – reflecting a seasonal slowdown – but export value ($136.5 million) was still up 35 percent. January through November exports increased 3 percent in volume (225,328 mt) and 13 percent in value ($1.47 billion) as U.S. beef continued to reclaim market share in Japan.

Other January through November beef results include:

  • Exports to Hong Kong surpassed $1 billion for the first time ($1.01 billion, up 39 percent) on a volume of 137,435 mt (up 19 percent).
  • Strong momentum continued for U.S. beef in South Korea, as exports were up 14 percent in volume (107,147 mt) and 44 percent in value ($762.8 million). On a value basis, U.S. market share in Korea climbed from 38 percent in 2013 to 42 percent in 2014.
  • Exports to Taiwan rebounded from a slow start in 2014, reaching 30,984 mt (up 6 percent) valued at a record $264.8 million (up 15 percent).
  • While exports to Mexico slowed in November, totals were still up 14 percent in volume (219,712 mt) and 28 percent in value ($1.05 billion) for the year. (As USMEF has noted previously, however, data issues from January through May 2013 suggest that year-over-year growth for 2014 is likely overstated.)

Complete January through November export totals for U.S. beef are available from USMEF’s statistics webpage.  end mark

—From U.S. Meat Export Federation news release